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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Colonial Pipeline

U.S. Recovers $2.3 Million Ransom Paid to Colonial Pipeline Hackers

U.S. Recovers $2.3 Million Ransom Paid to Colonial Pipeline Hackers

June 08, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
In a major blow, the U.S. Department of Justice on Monday said it has recovered 63.7 bitcoins (currently valued at $2.3 million) paid by Colonial Pipeline to the DarkSide ransomware extortionists on May 8, pursuant to a seizure warrant that was authorized by the Northern District of California. The  ransomware attack  also hobbled the pipeline company's fuel supply, prompting the government to issue an  emergency declaration , even as the company shelled out a ransom amount of approximately  75 bitcoins  ($4.4 million as of May 8) to regain access to its systems. A week after the highly publicized incident, the ransomware-as-a-service syndicate disbanded with a May 14 farewell message to affiliates, stating that its internet servers and cryptocurrency stash were  seized  by unknown law enforcement entities. While DarkSide's announcement was perceived as an exit scam, the latest move from DoJ confirms earlier speculations of law enforcement involvement. Stating that "
Hackers Breached Colonial Pipeline Using Compromised VPN Password

Hackers Breached Colonial Pipeline Using Compromised VPN Password

June 07, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The ransomware cartel that masterminded the  Colonial Pipeline attack  early last month crippled the pipeline operator's network using a compromised virtual private network (VPN) account password, the latest investigation into the incident has revealed. The development, which was  reported  by Bloomberg on Friday, involved gaining an initial foothold into the networks as early as April 29 through the VPN account, which allowed employees to access the company's networks remotely. The VPN login — which didn't have multi-factor protections on — was unused but active at the time of the attack, the report said, adding the password has since been discovered inside a batch of leaked passwords on the dark web, suggesting that an employee of the company may have reused the same password on another account that was previously breached. It's, however, unclear how the password was obtained, Charles Carmakal, senior vice president at the cybersecurity firm Mandiant, was quoted a
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